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Three Afghan children abducted in UK

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KABUL: The British embassy in Kabul said that specialist detectives investigating the abduction of three children from their foster home in south London.

Bilal Safi, Mohammed Ebrar Safi, and Mohammed Yaseen Safi – aged six, five and three – were taken from their home in Coulsdon Road, Coulsdon on Thursday, 20 August, the embassy said in a statement on Monday.

The children were playing in the garden while their foster carer was in the house. She heard footsteps nearby, turned around and saw the children’s father Imran Safi, 26 (15.11.1993). The foster carer told police Imran threatened her with a knife and used force to take the children from the address. They have not been seen since. The foster carer did not suffer any serious physical injuries but was left understandably distressed, the statement added.

According to the statement, a manhunt for Imran was immediately launched by specialist detectives from a team which leads the response to abductions. They have been working 24/7 out of a specialist facility to trace Imran’s movements.

Shortly after the children were taken an all ports alert was issued, meaning Imran’s image and details were circulated to all ports and borders. Detectives are working closely with national and international agencies to ensure any movement into foreign countries is identified, the statement said, adding, Imran is an Afghani national, and has links to Pakistan. “At this stage, it is not known if he has travelled overseas.”

Officers from the local town are leading the investigation into the abduction itself. They have arrested eight people on suspicion of involvement: A 25-year-old woman and a 32-year-old man were arrested in south London on Friday, 21 August, the statement added.

Three men – two aged 20 and one aged 17 – were arrested in south London on Sunday, 23 August, the statement added.

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